iTeach SHU Gallery presents advantages of technology

The iTeach SHU Gallery was held on April 19 in Cecilian Hall. Faculty and staff who participated in the university’s ELITE Professional Development program presented during the gallery.

Participants in the ELITE program consisted of faculty and teaching staff whom were required to train in interactive and assistive technology and assessment development for a year. After the training, the participants revised a course to integrate interactive, performance-based activities and emerging technological resources.

Adrian Sannier, senior vice president for Product at Pearson, gave a keynote presentation to begin the gallery, where he spoke of the importance of classrooms being able to adapt to changing technology.

“The future is requiring us to adapt faster than we expected,” said Sannier. He praised Seton Hill University (SHU) for recognizing the importance of the iPad, for creating a network that supports the technological devices quickly and cheaply and for introducing “a single portal by which you find out what your Seton Hill experience is…you are using it as a basis to build. You are infusing the Seton Hill experience into an online place,” Sannier said.

“We need to teach the kids and connect with the devices and everything is attainable,” Sannier said.

After Sannier’s presentation, a panel made up of faculty and students was held.

“Coming to a place where everybody had the same technology when they walked into the classroom was such a joy and a relief knowing they all had the same type of materials,” said Bonnie Ordonez, an education professor.

“I found my experiences with technology to be overwhelmingly positive,” said sophomore creative writing major Angeline Lavelle. “I think that technology has helped us give feedback to each other…we [classmates] were communicating and giving feedback to each other even beyond the classroom. It has encouraged creativity…we’ve included both video and audio with our writing.”

“Everything is changing,” said Lavelle. “We’re moving forward in technology and we have to be prepared.”

Another advantage to SHU’s technology is that more students are coming to the library “…because it has become a place they can utilize the way they like to” said SHU librarian Dana Krydick.

“Because of mobile technology they can sit at whatever table they want to. All of our tables are filled with students because they all have the technology and they’re not waiting to get on the computers,” Krydick said.

After the panel, the audience was allowed to ask the panel questions. One largely discussed question was on the advantages and disadvantages of a flipped classroom.

“Advantages are very big and disadvantages are very small,” said physician assistant David Majiros. “I saved time and didn’t have to do the lecture twice…A big advantage is that the student can watch it [the lecture] over and over again…they can watch it until they get it.”

Another question was raised on whether or not we can become too dependent on technology. “If you can do it better with a pencil and piece of paper, you should do that,” said Ordonez. “If you don’t have a backup plan [in case technology fails] you will run into trouble along the way. We need to learn how to adapt with it, but we also need to learn how to do without it.”

After the panel discussion, a gallery walk was held where students and faculty presented how they used technology in the classroom.

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